How we met: ‘She had a lovely energy – but I wasn’t sure I wanted an open relationship’

How we met: ‘She had a lovely energy – but I wasn’t sure I wanted an open relationship’

Susie and Andrew in Australia’s Blue Mountains

Andrew, 35, and Susie, 33, met on Tinder in 2018. Having overcome their very different attitudes to new-age spirituality, they now live ‘monogamishly’ together in Sydney

In 2018, Susie was balancing her work as a criminal prosecutor in New South Wales, Australia, with her interest in spirituality. “I’d been raised Christian but left the church when I was a teenager,” she says. “I later discovered new-age spirituality and went on my own journey.” Although she was keen to meet someone to share her life with, there weren’t many opportunities for dating in the area where she lived.

When she was asked to travel to Sydney for work, she leapt at the chance. “As soon as I arrived, I went on Tinder and began lining up dates for every night I was there.” Her first date was with Andrew, who worked in market research. “I ‘super-liked’ her profile because I thought she had a lovely energy,” he says.

They met in a bar and Susie told him about her interest in spirituality. “Initially, he offered to set me up with his yoga teacher friend because he thought we would be better suited,” she laughs. “But then we hit it off and I found him very funny. I tried to look up his astrology and asked for the time he was born. He called his mum to find out and I liked that he was going along with it.”

Although it was fun, Andrew wasn’t sure if they had a future together. “I am not spiritual at all, so I didn’t know if I could see it working,” he says. “Before I met Susie, I associated spiritualism with naivety and people who were a bit lost.” Despite this, their other values were well aligned, so they decided to meet up again. “By the end of the week, we were very into each other,” says Susie. “I cancelled all my other dates to spend time with Andrew.”

Over the next few months they booked trips to see each other, but their differing views on spirituality were still an issue. “I wondered if he would be able to grow with me and be introspective,” says Susie. “I thought I needed someone who was more on my wavelength.”

Meanwhile, Andrew was concerned she wouldn’t want to commit long-term. “She goes to some wacky tantra retreats,” he says. “Three months after we met, she told me she was going to an intensive retreat in New Zealand and I was worried – it seemed a bit like a cult to me. We were also in an open relationship, which I wasn’t sure about at first.”

But they both felt the connection between them was too strong to ignore and, over time, their concerns began to fade. “Susie has changed my perspective on new-age spiritualism,” he says. “She had a great life but was seeking another meaning.”

Susie also realised that Andrew was capable of growth. “The main thing is that we have a lot of fun and it’s always enjoyable to spend time together.”

Although they have maintained an open relationship, they engage only with people from Susie’s close-knit tantra community. “It’s ‘monogamish’,” she explains. “‘Open relationship’ is a big term. We are primarily monogamous and occasionally open with a handful of trusted people.”

Susie moved to Sydney to be with Andrew in 2019. She retrained and started a new career as a relationship and intimacy coach. They got engaged in April and plan to marry at a sailing club in Sydney next year. “We weren’t going to get married,” says Susie. “But my family is originally from Korea and my mum is Christian and values the tradition. Now we are really excited about it.”

Andrew loves his partner’s ability to jump headfirst into everything. “She’s unbound by fear and incredibly adventurous and curious,” he says. “The way she has gone from a successful career to setting up her own business and is thriving really captures her spirit.”

Susie admires how much Andrew enjoys life. “He’s able to extract joy from the little things and enjoys the minutiae of everyday life,” she says. “To me, it is a form of spirituality. You don’t have to be chanting or doing practices – it’s seeing magic in the mundane, and sharing that sense of appreciation.”

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